Ever since I was a kid and saw the Academy Award winning documentary "Scared Straight," I've had a pretty simple goal: Don't go to jail. Period. Full stop. However, it's difficult to avoid trouble with law enforcement if you aren't aware of the goofy little things that can be illegal in one municipality but not another. Illinois has several of those goofy little laws.

Most of us have seen articles or videos about weird laws still on the books in the United States, so I have to give a big hat-tip to Natalie Crawford at Reboot Illinois for doing some digging into the more off-beat laws that are still floating around some cities and towns here in Illinois.

  • Galesburg wants the city's animals (dogs, cats, and birds) to smell good, apparently. So, at some point they passed a statute that says anyone with a smelly pet is breaking the law.
  • For anyone and everyone in Illinois having the hobby of "show pigeons," you better have a permit, or you're looking at a fine. However, if someone kills one of your pigeons, accidentally or purposefully, they're looking at a minimum fine of $100. As Ethel Merman once said, "There's no pigeons like show pigeons." Or something like that. Sorry.
  • Riverside takes a dim view of show-offs who ride their bikes no-handed. City code says that's a violation of the law. Two hands on the handlebars at all times, Easy Rider.
  • In Sycamore, if you're a bee (yes, a bee), you're not allowed within 200 feet of any street or alley. No word on whether you're fined, jailed, or...gulp, swatted. Hornets, wasps, and/or yellow jackets are advised to stay out of town.

For the rest of Natalie Crawford's piece, click here.

For a look at some crazy laws around the world...

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